If you’re not happy with tap water quality, a whole-house filtration system is a good solution. But you may have heard from friends that using filters can make their showers weak.
Whole-house water filters are an excellent way to get healthier water. People say they can decrease your water pressure, but that’s not usually true. Let’s find out how you can reduce this risk and enjoy better-tasting water.
Do Whole-House Water Filters Limit the Flow of Water?
Water filters restrict the flow of water to a certain extent. But how much the flow is reduced depends on many factors, which we will go over. However, before we do that, let’s clear up some jargon.
Knowing the Fundamentals of Flow Rates and Water Pressure
Water flow rate and water pressure are often used interchangeably. But they mean something a little different when looking at technical specifications.
The flow rate is how many gallons of water can flow through a water filter in a minute. The water pressure is how quickly and strongly the water flows. They are two of the most important factors determining how well a whole-house system works.
Factors Influencing Water Pressure and Flow
Before you buy a whole-house water filtration system, it’s essential to understand how it will affect your home’s water pressure. While some circumstances are beyond your control, others are.
Home Water Pressure
Water pressure affects the efficiency of filters in your home. The rate at which water flows into your home depends on climate conditions and how far the water has to travel from its source. The further away the water supply is from your house, the lower the pressure. If there is a drought, you might notice a pressure drop. If you get your water from a major river, lack of rain won’t make much of a noticeable difference in pressure, but you might see a more significant effect if you have a shallow well.
All water filters have an incoming pressure requirement; if yours doesn’t meet that requirement, it will impair system performance.
It takes up to 3 gallons of water per minute to flush a toilet and run a dishwasher. If you do all these things at once, your water filter will be overworked. The pressure at each faucet will drop if the filter’s maximum flow rate is exceeded. Get a water filter that can keep up with your consumption.
If you’re using city water, your water meter keeps track of how much you use in total. Your daily water consumption isn’t shown. Your family can use these averages to figure out exactly how much water they need at any particular time:
- Bathroom faucets: 1 gpm
- Kitchen taps: 1.5 gpm
- Shower heads: Up to 2.5 gpm
- Toilets: 2.5-4.0 gpm
- Washing machines: 25.0 gallons per load
- Dishwashers: 6.0 to 20.0 gallons per load
If you pour water through a coffee filter, the water will flow through quickly. But if you add mud, the water flow will slow down. This is because the harder a filter works, the more likely it is to reduce pressure.
Limescale accumulation may be present in your plumbing when you have hard water and no water softener. This sticky residue made of calcium decreases the diameter of your pipes and restricts the flow of water.
3/4- to 1-inch-diameter pipes can be found in many residences. These are the most often used filter sizes. A filter made for 1-inch pipes can be adapted to fit 3/4-inch plumbing with an adapter, but it may not work correctly if the sizes don’t match exactly.
If you live in a home with more than one story, the water pressure will be lower in the bathrooms on higher floors. This is because the water pressure decreases by a half-pound for each square inch of the pipe as it rises above your home’s water supply. Additionally, adding a whole-house water filter can further reduce the water pressure.
All filter media slow down the flow of water to some degree. The denser the filter media, the better it traps contaminants. However, some types are more restrictive than others.
Filter Flow Rates
Filter flow rates are reported as the maximum amount of water the filter can handle. Your filter system may not work well if the flow rate is more than 8-12 gallons per minute. However, choosing a whole-house system with a higher flow rate can improve water flow and pressure.
Types of Whole House Water Filters
Water pressure is also dependent on the type of whole-house water filter you use:
Sediment filters clean the water by removing big particles of debris, such as rust and silt. Most multi-stage whole-house filter systems contain them as a safeguard for the more fragile filters. If your water is highly contaminated, anticipate the pipes to clog soon. Maintaining them is a need if you want them to continue working correctly.
Activated carbon filters use granular or solid bits of carbon to filter contaminants from the water. Block carbon filters are the most effective and efficient. However, they operate at a slower rate than other types of filtration.
Reverse Osmosis (RO)Filters
A reverse osmosis system removes more than 99% of the contaminants in your water. This process can take time, but it is worth it because you will have clean water. If your water has a lot of impurities, your water pressure may be drastically reduced.
Salt-based softeners use a process to remove hard minerals from water. Salt-free softeners or water conditioners use technology to prevent limescale without removing minerals. Neither process affects water pressure significantly.
Using a Whole-House Water Filtration System? Here are Some Tips to Improve Your Water Pressure
Select the Proper Whole-House Water Filter System Type
Your water pressure can be made or broken by the filter you choose. Carbon filters remove most contaminants in water that make it taste bad, but they do not significantly affect the water pressure. Reverse osmosis is good at purifying water from a single tap, but it significantly affects the water pressure.
A whole-home water filter system is not common because it is expensive. Most RO filters are made to fit under kitchen sinks. This is a good place for them because they treat water specifically for drinking and cooking purposes. Some homeowners with very dirty water use a whole-house filter system to improve the overall quality of their water. Then they use an RO unit at the kitchen sink to remove contaminants from their drinking water.
Check Your Pressure Tank
If you have a well, the water is stored in a pressure tank until you’re ready to use it. If the pressure switch settings are wrong, the system might not work as well as it could.
Ensure that the shutoff valves controlling water flow into your home are fully open. No whole-house water filtration system will work well without enough incoming pressure.
Maintain Your Water Filter System
The average sediment cartridge only lasts for three to six months. Carbon filters usually last six to twelve months, depending on the size and type. A reverse osmosis membrane usually has clogged pores within three to ten years.
If a filter cartridge is not cleaned or replaced regularly, it can reduce water pressure. However, if a filter is maintained correctly, it should not have a large impact on water pressure.
A whole house water softener can help prevent clogged pipes if you have hard water. You can choose between a conventional softener or a salt-free water conditioner. They will both stop the buildup of limescale. As an added benefit, they will also extend the life of your water heater and other household appliances.
Check Your Faucets
Your water pressure may be low because of clogged faucet aerators. As the water passes through them, it deposits debris on the screens. Check the kitchen tap and other taps for buildup.
Change Your Use Patterns
You can change your water use habits if you want to reduce your peak water demand. This means staggering showers, only running the dishwasher and washing machine at night, and backwashing softeners overnight. You can also install an excellent whole-house water filter.
If you are concerned that installing a whole-house water filter would result in a drop in water pressure, think about the adverse effects of consuming unfiltered tap water on your health. Filtered water is healthier and tastes better.
Although a whole house water filter may reduce your pressure, the right choice of filter and proper maintenance can minimize this loss while improving your water quality. You should make this investment because it will benefit you and your family.
Frequently Asked Questions About Does Whole House Water Filter Lower Pressure
Does the water filter reduce pressure?
Whole house water filters may reduce water pressure if they are not well-maintained. The simplest method to avoid this is to plan routine maintenance so that any issues are discovered early and repaired immediately.
Should I filter my whole house water?
A whole house water filter can protect you from harmful contaminants. These contaminants can get into your body through your skin and lungs, so protection is important throughout your home.
How do I increase the water pressure in my reverse osmosis system?
Adding an electric booster pump to your reverse osmosis system will increase the production rate, boost the pressure tank storage volume, and reject more contaminants from your water supply. This will also increase the faucet flow rate even if your water supply meets your reverse osmosis membrane pressure rating.
How do I increase water pressure in my house?
Look for a conical valve with a bolt sticking out near your water meter. To increase the water pressure, turn the bolt clockwise after loosening its locknut. Keep an eye on the gauge to ensure the pressure is within bounds, then retighten the locknut.